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Parent Talk

Find the Answers to Your Questions from Our Panel of Neighborhood Moms and Dads

Each week, our Parents Council of experts takes your questions, gives advice and shares solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children.

This week’s question is:

With the weather fluctuating between winter and spring temperatures, what are some steps I can take to prevent my child from coming down with a cold, the flu or other illnesses? But, if they get sick, what are some methods to get them better as quickly as possible?

Judy Vincent:
I think staying consistent with clothing layers during uneven temperatures is key. Add that extra sweater, which they can always take off. Personally, I keep the winter coat on them to avoid illness. Once the weather stabilizes, then I'll switch my daughter to a lighter outside jacket.  As far as illness goes, I think the key is to not let a minor cold go unattended because it could lead to something bigger. After the second day, I head to the pediatrician. 

Safia Sattaur:
My child is currently sick with a fever and really bad cough. Their bodies are often helpless when they get sick. To prevent my child from getting sick, I try to make sure he is dressed properly when the weather is bad. I layer him well and make sure his head and neck are properly covered.

If he does get sick, I use some old-fashioned remedies compliments from my mother. If he gets a cold, fever or flu, I rub his chest with Vicks. In order to not burn him too much, I mix it with a little baby oil so it is a little milder on his skin. I use all natural peppermint oil and massage it onto his head, which helps clear his nasal passages.

I always make him a nice warm soup filled vegetables and noodles to help him rebuild his resistance. Of course, I also treat him with children's Tylenol, but I tend not to give him too much medication.

Jacqueline Montgomery:
The best way to keep the cold out of your kids is to dress in layers. They are often happy to be outside and forget, to wrap up.

Vitamins are key, whether they are chewable or just melt. When they come home, give them a cup of warm Ovaltine with 1 percent or soy milk. Keep zinc lollipops on hand. Lastly, the old-fashioned chicken soup usually works.


Liliana De Jesus March 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
I definitely agree with dressing appropriately as a proactive way of keeping the kids from getting sick, but I think with that goes the aspect of good hygiene. I make sure my kids are constantly washing their hands, and always carry hand sanitzer. For a cough, Mucinex always works, but you really have to check with your pediatrician for appropriate ages when it comes to cough medicine because it can be dangerous when you go under a certain age. Sitting in the bathroom with steam from a hot running shower helps oftentimes as well. Oh, and sleep is key to keeping your immune system at its best!

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